/ July 18, 2011

Tip: Learn to Use Boolean Operators

The most powerful and flexible way to search for cases on Fastcase is to perform a keyword search using Boolean operators.

Boolean operators are symbols that tell a search engine how to relate keywords to one another.  For example, there are many ways to relate the two keywords Summary and Judgment.

→     Summary             AND         Judgment

This search will yield cases containing both the words Summary and Judgment.

→    Summary             OR             Judgment

This search will yield cases containing at least one of the words Summary or Judgment.

→     Summary             NOT            Judgment

This search will yield cases containing the word Summary but not the word Judgment.

→     Summary             w/5             Judgment

This search will yield cases containing the word Summary within 5 words of the word Judgment.

Fastcase’s search engine is compatible with 8 simple Boolean operators, but there’s no need to memorize them all. We display each operator along with examples right below the search box on the Advanced Caselaw Search page.

If you are new to Fastcase, a good way to learn how to use these operators is to click on one of the blue hyperlinked examples in the search tips. This will paste the search query in the example into the search box. Then you can press search to see what the results look like and compare them to the description of expected results listed in the search tips box. We are confident that with a little practice, you will become an expert in keyword searching in no time!

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